July 18, 2003
Blair Doesn't Understand Why They Hate Us
By Harry Braun
Prime Minister Blair's unenlightened speech before the U.S. Congress failed to mention that the primary reason why most people oppose U.S. foreign policy is because of its blatant dishonesty. While Blair and Bush like to talk about supporting democracy abroad, they never mention that since World War II, the U.S. and the U.K. have in fact been supporting brutal and undemocratic regimes all over the world. Indeed, most Muslim intellectuals argue that American and British prosperity has been based on supporting oppressive regimes in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, Iran, Vietnam, Chile, Indonesia, the Congo, the Philippines, Pakistan, and Iraq - to name a few.
In the case of Iraq, Blair did not mention that Saddam's Hussein's Baath party was put into power by the CIA during the Kennedy administration. Blair didn't mention that for years Saddam was our ally and according to a page one story published in The New York Times (August 18, 2002), the U.S. even provided military and technical assistance to Iraq when senior American officials in the Reagan administration knew that Saddam was planning to use chemical weapons on his Iranian enemies. Even before Saddam invaded Kuwait, he first got approval from the American Ambassador, who assured him that the U.S. would not get involved in such border disputes. Blair did not mention that in Afghanistan, the U.S. overthrew the Taliban by giving money and weapons to the brutal Saddam-type drug warlords that now run the country. Blair chose not to mention that the Marshall Plan for Afghanistan that Bush promised never happened, and according to Newsweek (July 14, 2003), the warlords have now revived opium production to pre-Taliban levels and they will kill anyone who gets in their way. Blair did not mention that the U.S.-led invasion was based on forged documents and lies, and that the attack killed and injured untold thousands of innocent Iraqis, and caused billions of dollars of damage to Iraqi homes and cities. Blair did not mention that Iraq is in chaos, without fresh water or electricity, and that women are terrified to leave home because so many have been abducted and raped. Blair also failed to mention how the real prize in Iraq was its vast oil reserves, which the U.S. now controls, except for the fact that it is impossible to get the oil flowing if the pipelines and the electrical grid continue to be blown-up by anti-American forces. Blair failed to mention that the real threat to the U.S. and the U.K. is not from Iraq, but North Korea, which has U.S.-supplied nuclear technology, and admits to building nuclear weapons that can be placed on its well-developed ballistic missile systems, which according to analysts like William Perry, are capable of hitting U.S. cities. Ever since Bush publicly referred to North Korea's leader as a "pigmy" that he "loathed," the U.N. inspectors were thrown out-unlike Saddam who allowed them to inspect Iraq without conditions.
Candidate Bush said he was a "uniter not a divider," yet his policies have been so radical that even the Bush administration has acknowledged, the relations with long-standing allies, such as Germany and France have been "poisoned." Bush said he believed in free markets, yet he has approved record subsidies to steel and agricultural interests, which have had a devastating impact on poor farmers in Mexico and elsewhere. He said he opposed "nation building," but apparently had no problem in authorizing the destruction of the cradle of civilization. Bush said he would move cautiously on the world stage, yet he has brazenly demonstrated that the U.S. would unilaterally determine who shall face military reprisals, regardless of international law. This not doubt explains why the Bush administration has refused to recognize the new International Criminal Court, which is the first permanent legal forum for trying people charged with genocide and other crimes against humanity. Indeed, the Bush administration has attempted to have U.S. military forces made immune from such proceedings. This is in spite of the long and sorry history of autocracies committed by the U.S., starting with the Native American tribes, and continuing on through World War II, where entire cities in Germany and Japan that our own military leaders indicated were of no military value were destroyed by U.S. bombing. The U.S. is the only country to ever use nuclear weapons of mass destruction on another country -- at a time when that country (Japan) was trying to surrender. While the Bush administration characterizes other countries that seek to develop nuclear weapons as "very hostile," yet the Bush administration continues to develop and build more nuclear weapons, in spite of the fact that the U.S. already has more nuclear weapons that the rest of the world combined. Then there is Vietnam, a small Asian country that had more U.S. bombs dropped on it than both sides used against each other in World War II. Given this perspective, it is easy to understand why Bush seeks to have the U.S. avoid being accountable, but such policies give new meaning to the term "Ugly American."
Blair did not bother to mention that the Founding Fathers of the U.S. were also referred to as terrorists by the superpower of the day, and that it was Patrick Henry who said in defiance "give me liberty or give me death." Until these obvious injustices of U.S. foreign policy have been resolved, the war against terror can never be won, and innocent people on both sides of the conflict will continue to be slaughtered. Instead of being guided by a philosophy of "he who has the gold makes the rules," the guiding principle of U.S. foreign policy should be to "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." While the Blair and Bush administrations like to portray the "terrorists" as those who hate "freedom," such simplistic slogans ignore the real reasons why millions of people around the world cheered as the towers fell, and as long as U.S. and the U.K. governments continue with this fundamentally unfair double-talk and double-standard, the resulting hatred and war will never end.
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